What's happening in and around Phoenixville, PA.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Route 23 to be detoured at night at Valley Forge

Although not directly tied to Phoenixville this will certainly effect those who live around here. Last night, PennDot began a construction project which will have a stretch of Rte. 23 closed Monday thru Friday from 9pm-5am. The effected area will be between County Line Rd. and Richards Rd.

Construction is supposed to last through August. For more details see the following articles

The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Phoenix

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Updates on several downtown buildings

In Dennis Wrigt's article on 2/23/07, he wrote about a discussion he had with Barry Cassidy. Among other things they discussed what was going on with some of the store fronts in town. Some we already knew about but others were new, at least to me. Some highlights from the article

In no particular order, the former Seachrist's will become Molly Maguire's; the Hotel Washington will transform into Ryan's Pub; the former Scioli's Used Furniture and Antiques is slated to be Earthmart; and the former Sleepy Hollow is going to be a French bistro.
A major restaurant is scheduled to move into the former Dan's Sports Pub; the former Phoenix Tavern will become a high-end fabric store; and Troxell's Jewelry will be occupied by Romantic Jewelers from West Chester.
"Romantic Jewelers will be going to the Zoning Hearing Board to make the building into three apartments on top," said Cassidy.
Tom Carnevale, of Carnevale Eustis Architects, Inc., may be moving his office next door to Jaworski's Music Center; the Superintendent's Building will begin its refurbishing next month; and several people are vying for Jerry Davis' old building.
"We have a lot of high-end people looking for properties in this town," Cassidy said "It's hard to buy buildings on this street. Just because people see a vacancy doesn't mean it is available."
...
"What we are looking at are more restaurants to feed everyone that comes to town," [Cassidy] said. "We don't need to have too many takeout places. We don't want to look like the boardwalk."
...
When I asked him about what business would he bring to Phoenixville if he had the opportunity, Cassidy didn't hesitate and said, "Trader Joe's."


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Nice to finally hear some updates on what is being planned for downtown. Still have a lot of concerns about parking (or lack there of) but that will sort itself out eventually I'd imagine. For now I will look at the positive and wish the new business owners much success.

Source: The Phoenix.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Banff Mountain Film Festival

The 30th Annual Banff Moutain Film Festival will be coming to Phoenixville on March 2nd and 3rd. The film festival, which features "a collection of the most inspiring and thought-provoking active, environmental, and adventure mountain films" is being hosted by Philadelphia Rock Gym and will be held at the Colonial Theater.

Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 at the door.

For more information, visit their website at http://www.philarockgym.com/Banff2007.htm

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Barry Cassidy talks about his plans for downtown

In the Thursday, Feb. 15th issue of The Phoenix, Barry Cassidy wrote an editorial discussing his plans for the downtown area. For those interested in what is happening, the entire article is worth a read. Here are some highlights for things planned in '07

"The developer hopes to have the Foundry ready as a 400-seat concert venue in September of 2007."

"Starting in 2007 there will be limited performances on Saturday afternoon in an effort to draw crowds to the downtown."

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Cassidy anticipates the effort will take 20 years to be complete.


Source: The Phoenix.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

American Revolution Center Update

According to today's Philadelphia Inquirer, the oft talked about American Revolution Center, to be housed at Valley Forge Park, looks like it is once again a go.

From the article....

The museum would rise on 78 of those acres, on a hillside that offers sweeping views of the Schuylkill and Valley Forge National Historical Park. If all goes according to plan, construction would start by the summer of 2008. Talk about a museum began in 1995.

The center will house more than 15,000 rare documents, artifacts, weapons and other materials, many of which have never been publicly displayed.

"The time for a center to commemorate the American Revolution and the independence of our nation is long overdue," said H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, chairman of the board of the American Revolution Center (ARC). "Now we have the opportunity to make it a reality."

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Sounds like it is still a way's off but if it does happen I think residents and business owners alike will benefit greatly by this.

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Foundry Building Sale Complete

Well, this is only about a month late but I still felt it was worth mentioning. On December 29th, the Hankin Group closed on their purchase of the Foundry Building. As part of the sale, Bob Hankin, owner of the Hankin Group, agreed to lease part of the building to the Schuylkill River Heritage Center for $10/year for 10 years.

From the 1/9/07 Phoenix article:

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In addition to the SRHC, Hankin said plans are underway to create a combination banquet facility and 400-seat entertainment venue inside the 125-year-old building, with provisions to add a full-service restaurant in the future.

"We're trying to keep the character and historic nature of the building but have kind of a contemporary feel to the inside so there will be a contrast between the old and the new," said Hankin.

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I think its great that Hankin is allowing the SRHC to continue operations in the Foundry and the banquet/entertainment venue sounds like a perfect way to use such an important and beautiful building.


Source: The Phoenix.

Hotel Washington Being Sold

The Hotel Washington, home to three seperate restaurants/bars, is being sold to Patrick Ryan, owner of Ryan's Pub in West Chester. Ryan plans to renovate the building into a full service restaurant and pub. Not sure what their plan is, but if its anything like the West Chester location look for traditional Irish pub food to go along with American favorites.

Nice to see another successful restaurateur choose Phoenixville as the place to expand their operations!

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Source: The Phoenix.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Gay St. Bridge update

For the first time since last summer (at least that I have seen) there is news regarding the plan to replace the Gay Street Bridge. In today's Phoenix, the latest estimates have the bridge slated to come down beginning in August. The project is going to take 2 years to complete so, at the earliest, we're looking at late '09 before its finished.

A couple of highlights from the article

"Total project costs are currently estimated at $13 million. The Federal government will cover 80% of the cost. The remaining 20% will be paid by the state."

"Official detour routes, and truck routes, have been mapped around the Borough using state-owned roads, as PennDOT requires. PennDOT and Borough officials are working on traffic patterns through the Borough. PennDOT is also in contact with Phoenixville Hospital regarding emergency routes."

"Recognizing the volume of traffic that will be placed on the Main Street Bridge through the construction period, consideration is being given to a temporary traffic light on High Street at South Main, and to retiming the light at Main and Bridge Streets to accommodate left hand turns from Main eastbound onto Bridge Street in the morning rush hour, to move traffic along more efficiently."

Source: The Phoenix.

First Annual Celtic Street Fair planned for May 12th

From the USA Kilts website

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Who Is Going to be There?
We’ll have LOTS of entertainment at this all day family friendly event! The bands for the outside daytime shows are still being signed, but one thing is definite: Enter The Haggis will have an evening concert at the historic Colonial Theatre at 7:30 PM! Please note that while ALL daytime activities are FREE, the evening concert is $22*.

The event will ALSO include: 2 stages featuring Celtic Rock bands (stage at Gay street end of block) and Traditional Celtic bands (stage at Main street end of block), Highland and Irish Step Dancers, 15 to 20 vendors selling Celtic wares and food, children’s events in the Colonial theatre during the day, the Brian Boru Bagpipe Band, Fraternal Organizations and Clan Tents, lots of local stores (including USA Kilts) and much, much more!

The BIG news is the Evening Concert with Enter the Haggis ! The tickets will be $22* and are available through USA Kilts by calling 610.935.3444. The concert starts at 7:30. After the concert, there will be an “after party” with the band at a local pub where you will be able to hang out with the band and get autographs!

*$2 of every ticket sold will go to an organization to help in the revitalization of the historic downtown district of Phoenixville.

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Should be a fun time.

Source: USAKilts.com.